Oracle newsletter, May 2016:Selecting senior staff(centre spread)

Square peg trying to fit in a round hole

Choose the right fit

‘We’ve all heard about "missionaries, mercenaries and misfits". Corporations must have good systems to keep these people at arms-length. Real due diligence on senior staff in remote locations is a must. You might not get it right all of the time but if you put in safety mechanisms, such as probation periods and regular performance reviews, you can protect your corporation from the worst situations.’

Independent director, Rick Callaghan

Protect against the wrong pick

Tips for directors

Conduct a recruitment process and have a strong employment plan.

Check your corporation has proper employment systems, such as policies about expected standards of performance and behaviour. Strong structures can guide you and back you up should a circumstance with senior staff become difficult or turn nasty.

Strong and clear policies, procedures and delegations are important because they clarify matters for everyone—for example, they spell out the consequences if standards of behaviour or performance are not what they should be.

In your employment systems and guidelines include regular performance reviews. They’re a helpful and effective way to hold your senior staff to account. Encourage an open discussion. It should be a two way street—directors want to know how senior staff are getting on and senior staff want to express their thoughts and concerns freely too. Think of questions you might ask.

Very importantly, if things aren’t right and you’re uneasy about what senior staff are doing—or not doing—take action! Don’t ignore the situation so it festers and only gets worse. Inform the Registrar’s office. In some cases where criminal activity is suspected it may be necessary to inform the police and initiate legal proceedings.

Employment guides and template contracts are on the Registrar’s website:

freecall: 1800 622 431 (not free from mobiles) | email: | website: